ISU Takes Care of Key Need

The Iowa State coaching staff has secured a very important commitment in filling out its Class of 2003, picking up a verbal from a talented defensive end/outside linebacker prospect in the Houston, Texas, area.

Jason Berryman returned from an official trip to Arizona over the weekend and has given a commitment to head coach Dan McCarney after the head coach made an in-home visit Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder is the Cyclones' 27th known verbal for 2003, but first addition to a position of great need.

"It was a great trip," an enthusiastic Berryman told TheInsiders' David Garvin last week upon his return from Ames. "It snowed while we were up there and I love snow. I've never seen it before. (ISU linebacker) Brandon Brown was my guest host."

Berryman finished with more than 60 tackles and 16 sacks this season for Kashmere, which made the Class 4A state playoffs and finished 8-3 overall.

He's in the mold of current ISU rush end Tyson Smith and could follow a similar path at the Division I level. Smith started his career as a SAM linebacker before making the move to rush end early in his career.

The Cyclones' defensive coaches are debating which spot is Berryman's best.

"I'm real flexible," he said. "When the defensive end sees the tape, he wants me at defensive end. When the linebacker coach sees the tape, he wants me at linebacker. Whatever the head coach wants me play, I'll do it. I just love to play football.

"I've watched a couple (Cyclone) games and like the way (Tyson Smith) plays. He's very aggressive and goes after the quarterback every down. He also has to play smart. I really like to rush the quarterback.

Berryman's took official visits to Kansas and SMU in December, before following those up with stops at ISU and Arizona this month. He also considered Pittsburgh.

Cyclone assistant coach Mike Nelson was his primary recruiter.

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